|Kit #: 72C01||Preview by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com|
This set is meant as a straightforward conversion project for a very interesting vehicle: a tank hunter produced in small numbers by the Soviet Union based on captured Panzer IIIs and armed with a S-1 gun (which is basically the same as the F-34 used in the T-34.)
According to my references about 200
were produced in 1943, most seemingly on a late Ausf.L or Ausf. M
hull, i.e. without the lateral hull hatches, although some pictures
show vehicles with the escape hatches.
Although apparently successful, most were withdrawn from active service by the end of 1943; some soldiered on as training vehicles.
The Leva conversion kit will allow you to build a post-Kursk vehicle with gun shield and without commander's cupola. For those wanting to backdate the kit, carving away the gun shield will not be a difficult task.
You get 5 kit parts to accomplish this
conversion, the boxy superstructure being the most important.
that is not immediately obvious is that the driver's visor was moved
outwards with respect to the ordinary Panzer III.
Casting is slightly rough, but probably
accurate for Soviet wartime production practice. There are very few
casting imperfections; the most noticeable being the bent gun barrel.
The set is meant for either the Esci,
Revell or Matchbox kits. Given that the latter is 1/76, I am not sure
how the fit will be, but for the Revell kit the dimensions are spot
on, as the pictures below can attest. At any rate, I would recommend
the Revell kit above the others, as it is by far the best currently
Note that some references claim that the Soviets removed all tools from the fenders. Given that most kits have the tools molded integrally with the fenders, this will be a pain to do. Then again, I see no point why the tools would have had to be removed.
Trophies in the Red Army, Frontovaya Illustratsiya #1, 2000; M. Kolomiets, M. Svirin «Kurskaya Duga», ExPrint NV, 1998; «Poligon» #1, 2000.
Review sample courtesy of Alain Levesque of Leva Productions.
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|Article Last Updated:
04 December 2010
11 November 2019